RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Down goes Number One!. Manchester took down Hermitage, a feat no other team that had played them this year could accomplish. Our Top 5 is now very different from last week’s. A reminder, we vote on this with the folks at RVA GameBreak, and you can visit them at: http://www.RVAGameBreak.com.
10) Louisa County Lions (9-0)
Last week: def. Charlottesville 62-27
This week: @ Fluvanna (2-7)
Why: Louisa County scored exactly 62 points for the third consecutive week and dominated a team that previously had just two losses. The Lions close the season with the hapless Flying Flucos, and then its on to the playoffs. Louisa is behind both Monacan and Dinwiddie in its region and will likely face a playoff road game at one of them.
9) Collegiate Cougars (7-1)
Last week: def. Norfolk Academy 42-0
This week: @ St. Christopher’s (6-2)
Why: The VISAA has a committee that chooses both the for teams in the Division One playoffs as well as the seeding of those four teams. Even though Flint Hill beat Collegiate, and that is Collegiate’s only loss, the Cougars may end up a number one seed just as easily as they could end up a number four seed and have to start their state title defense at Flint Hill. Benedictine has played many games out of state, and St. Chris will likely have a good enough record to be considered as well. One source close to the situation believes the Division One playoffs will include all three of those Richmond-area teams as well as Flint Hill. There’s just no way to know, so it’s best for either the Saints or Cougars to get a win and not worry about it. Only one of them can do that.
8) Varina Blue Devils (7-2)
Last week: def. Atlee 63-21
This week: @ #2 Highland Springs (8-1)
Why: Varina laid it on Atlee just as it did against Lee-Davis the week before, and now the Blue Devils will try to score their first win against East End Henrico rival Highland Springs since 2012.
7) Henrico Warriors (7-2)
Last week: def. Lee-Davis 27-20
This week: vs. Armstrong
Why: Henrico has earned itself a home playoff game with wins over Lee-Davis and Varina. The Warriors just need to take care of Armstrong before likely playing host to the Confederates again or to L.C. Bird. Henrico’s only two losses this season are to Hermitage and Highland Springs. Gerald Glasco has done an incredible job after losing a number of players to private schools and leading his team through the tragic death of talented sophomore Shyheem Jackson in August.
6) Thomas Dale Knights (7-2)
Last week: def. Granby 55-24
This week: @ Prince George (4-5)
Why: The Knights are firmly in the playoffs and hosting a home playoff game. They will likely use Friday night at Prince George to rest some players before getting ready for the 6A playoffs.
5) Hermitage Panthers (9-1)
Last week: lost to #5 Manchester 26-20
This week: idle
Why: The Panthers defeated four very tough opponents to start the season and then had it easy for their next five games. Friday at Manchester, they had a chance to knock off the rust. Yes, they suffered their first loss of the season, but they also knocked off some rust. They’ll likely be the top seed in their region in the 5A playoffs, hosting Mills Godwin or JR Tucker. With a week off, Patrick Kane will have his team playoff ready.
4) Manchester Lancers (8-1)
Last week: def. #1 Hermitage 26-20
This week: vs. George Wythe
Why: Manchester was up to the task of taking down the Panthers, now they can rest some starters and get everyone in the game on Senior Night against George Wythe. They were not able to pass Colonial Forge on ratings points, and will at some point have to play at Colonial Forge, which eliminated the Lancers in 2016, to make it to the state semifinals.
3) Monacan Chiefs (9-0)
Last week: def. Midlothian 41-7
This week: @ Huguenot (5-4)
Why: Monacan ended its game against Midlothian early, leading 34-0 by halftime. The Falcons will put up a good fight, but if Monacan plays the way it has the second half of the season, the Chiefs will be ready for the 4A playoffs and whatever comes their way. They’ll likely have to get through Dinwiddie to make the state title game, but they believe its their time.
2) Highland Springs (8-1)
Last week: def. Patrick Henry 42-20
This week: @ #8 Varina (7-2)
Why: The 14-9 loss to Hermtiage seems like a distant memoryas the Springers have scored less than 40 points in just two games since. Varina presents some serious challenges on offense, but the Blue Devils have given up plenty of points this season. We expect a shootout, and there’s a whole lot of pride on the line.
1) Dinwiddie Generals (9-0)
Last week: def. Hopewell 24-6
This week: vs. Colonial Heights
Why: The Generals scored a workmanlike victory over Hopewell Friday night, and now they turn their attention to 3A Colonial Heights, coached by former Dinwiddie assistant Buzz Edwards. Similar to Thomas Dale and Manchester, the Generals should be able to get their starters some rest before a playoff run they believe will end with a state title. Of course, there have been some lackluster performances this season against teams that aren’t as competitive, and backing into the playoffs is something Billy Mills and the Generals will want to avoid.